Sheriff's department premieres drone dedicated to Scott Co. man

Scott Co. Sheriff's Dept. buys drone to help in crimestopping efforts
Published: Jun. 5, 2016 at 2:16 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 5, 2016 at 2:29 AM CDT
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SCOTT COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - The Scott County Sheriff's Department showed off their newest gadget – a high definition drone - at the county's Summerfest on Saturday, June 4.

The drone is called ZJ1 – named after Zack Johnston, the young man who tragically lost his life on January 20th.

Johnston's family and friends raised thousands of dollars for the drone that will be used by the Scott County authorities.

The drone is equipped with a 4K resolution camera and will soon have a thermal imaging camera attached, as well.

The drone will assist the department in search rescues, finding missing persons and many other things.

Johnston's father Jim said he's speechless to have this in honor of his son.

"Words cannot describe what this means," Jim said emotionally. "I don't know what to tell you, you can't describe it, the people that started this, everybody that donated money, unreal."

Sheriff Rick Walter said this drone will be a tremendous help to his department.

"We've had rescues before where we've had our people within twenty foot of somebody and they couldn't for whatever reason holler," Walter said. "We couldn't figure out where they were and we end up walking away, and eventually going back and finding them. [If] we had this at night with the flare it would be able to find it more quicker and a lot easier."

Walter said there will be a strict protocol with using it and thanks everyone who helped bring this idea to life.

Jim also said before his son died, he had planned on purchasing a drone for his company.

He said this definitely was no coincidence.

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